As star of the Houston Texans, J.J. Watt is a household name in the football world! Here’s 5 things to know about the NFL player hosting ‘SNL’ for the first time.
Football fans, get your popcorn ready: J.J. Watt, 30, is set to make his Saturday Night Live debut! The NFL star’s hosting gig is timed perfectly for Super Bowl weekend, and isn’t his first time showing off his acting chops with credits in Mila Kunis‘ Bad Moms and an appearance on New Girl. “SNL!!!! I can’t even pretend to hide my excitement about this haha!” an enthusiastic J.J. tweeted on Jan. 21. “This is something truly special and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity from Lorne and everyone involved at @nbcsnl,” he added. Here’s 5 things to know about the pro-athlete who’s a five-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowl selection!
1. He’s from Wisconsin. J.J. was born Justin James Watt on Mar. 22, 1989 to parents Connie and John Watt. As a teen, he played football at his alma-mater Pewaukee High School where he earned numerous accolades, including Woodland Conference Player of the Year award and the teams’ MVP title. J.J. is the oldest of three siblings, and his brothers Derek and T.J. are also in the NFL, playing for the Los Angeles Chargers and Pittsburgh Steelers.
2. He’s not the first NFL player to host SNL. J.J. is the 11th NFL player to host NBC’s long-running sketch program, joining football stars like brothers Peyton and Eli Manning, Tom Brady and Joe Montana. It’s been a few years since an NFL star has taken the stage, however: Tom hosted back in 2005, Peyton appeared in 2007, and Eli in 2012. J.J. is also the 27th athlete to have the honor, making for a pretty exclusive club!
3. He’s acted before. While J.J. is no stranger to cameras playing pro-football, the Wisconsin native has dipped his toes into the acting world over the years. The charismatic defensive end made an appearance in 2016’s Bad Moms taking on the role of Coach Craig. He’s also played himself in a 2015 episode of New Girl along with a number of cameos in football-inspired series The League. J.J. has experience hosting too, taking the helm on 2016’s CMT Music Awards alongside sports reporter Erin Andrews.
4. J.J. is engaged to a soccer star. The 30-year-old popped the question to girlfriend Kealia Ohai, 27, back in May. “I’m the luckiest man in the world. #SheSaidYes,” J.J. tweeted on May 26, 2019. Kealia is also a professional athlete — getting her start as a young girl — and now plays in the National Women’s Soccer League on the Chicago Red Stars. The couple began dating back in 2016 after meeting through her sister Megan, who is married to J.J.’s teammate Brian Cushing, and made their relationship public in 2017. “The rumors are true. We are dating,” Kealia said on the 2 Up Front Soccer podcast back in 2017. “I’ve known J.J. for a really long time, and we’ve always been really great friends.”
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) May 27, 2019
5. He’s accomplished in the football world. After a successful stint in college football with the Wisconsin Badgers, J.J. was drafted by the Houston Texans in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. He’s also a five-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowl selection, and earned the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award a whopping three times during his first five years on the Texans. The star player was also dubbed Sportsperson of the Year by Sports Illustrated in 2017 for his charitable endeavors, which included raising $37 million for families affected by Hurricane Harvey.